Man enlists robot ‘dogs’ to search for lost 8,000 BTC

A man who chucked out a hard drive containing 8,000 BTC wants to spend £11m hiring a fleet of robot ‘dogs’ to recover it from landfill in Wales, UK.

James Howells claims he had identical hard drives at home and accidentally dumped the wrong one having bought the cryptocurrency in 2009 when it was almost worthless.

Just over six months ago his hard drive would have been worth close to £460m and he now wants to employ experts who have previously worked with NASA to hunt out his fortune.

Howells told The Times: “This is the most professional operation we’ve put together. It’s a serious proposal, we are capable of completing this task to a very high standard.”

Experts believe up to 90% of his BTC is recoverable and AI firm Ontrack has strong credentials having recovered a hard drive from the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster.

The hard drive is believed to sit somewhere below the landfill site in Newport, Gwent, but Newport City Council have refused his search despite him promising to invest in the site.

A Newport City Council spokesperson said his latest proposal “poses significant ecological risk which we cannot accept, and are prevented from considering by the terms of our permit”.

It has been a frustrating few years for Howells having seen the council originally refuse his bid to search the waste disposal site back in 2013 and they show no signs of backing down.

Since then, Howells has secured £10m in private funding as well as the backing of the former landfill site manager as he continues his fight to find his crypto funds.

He has also promised local residents £50 worth of BTC each if they back his plan and his fortune is found.

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Updated: 08/05/2022 — 12:00

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